Welcome to HEARTHS, where our mission is to inspire, motivate, empower and educate 
refugees and poor people from Africa, learn what they can do to help themselves.

HEARTHS started on Facebook in 2013,  and we are officially registered as of March 2018 in Liberiabut the idea for HEARTHS had its roots in 2009, when I began meeting a few people from the Buduburam Refugee camp in Ghana through Facebook.

Among them was Mayea Gaye, a widow and refugee from Liberia who left her country after the civil war, which began in 1989. She shared with me her vision about starting a human rights organization, to help many of the poor people, refugees, widows and orphans, across Africa. I was very inspired by her passion to help others, who like herself were extremely poor, uneducated and suffering from a lack of food and sickness.

We realized that while many people in Africa are in need, giving them money to help them with their short-term needs, like money for food, medicine or housing is like putting a drop of water on a hot stone; it helps for a moment, but then, after a while they are in need again.

Following the idea: “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach him how to fish you feed him for a lifetime”, we talked about the idea of empowering people through love and education, an education not just academically, but mainly an education of the heart and spirit, through which we can help people to learn to believe in themselves and their own powers to create change, instead of just being dependent on the help of others.

Back in 2009 I was the fortunate beneficiary of an inheritance. Because of that, I was able to send her the necessary funds, around $1500, which allowed her to start a small business on the refugee camp by selling safe drinking water, and one of my first adopted online sons (see picture below) started a photo shop on the Buduburam refugee camp in ghana.  With the revenue of this business she could support herself, her daughter, and 2 other people. Sadly, after a while, tragedy struck; she got sick, I ran out of money, and so the businesses had to be sold, but this is the real idea behind HEARTHS, that the only long term solution to help refugees and poor people in Africa to help themselves, is only possible through the establishment of small businesses, so they can support themselves.

After I kept meeting more and more people from Africa I came up with the idea of HEARTHS, and began creating the online group on Facebook towards the end of 2013, to which I still invite all people I meet from Africa. Back then we had only around 100 people in the group, but today we have more than 3600 members, and growing steadily. Through Facebook I communicate with our members almost daily, empower them with love, care and kindness, encouraging them to network with other members, to share their own stories and unique challenges, and to start small projects to demonstrate their love and commitment to create positive change.

Most of our members are liberian refugees, widows, orphans and single fathers who live on the Buduburam refugee camp in  Ghana, but we also have many members in Liberia, Uganda, Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria, the Ivory coast and other african countries.  

While most of our members are extremely poor and uneducated, many others are artists, students, writers, models, musicians and leaders of other organizations and orphanages. We also have a team of highly reputable leaders in Ghana and Liberia who work hard to help unite and inspire our members in the spirit of HEARTHS through meetings and workshops.

With their help, and some financial support, we conducted several group meetings where a little food and some refreshments where provided, while a prominent person from the community spoke about the rather revolutionary idea, that even though people are poor and uneducated, they have the power to create positive change as they begin to work together and help each other. 

The following two videos were recorded during HEARTHS group meetings in Ghana and Liberia: